CHINA: Lijiang...Rectifying my Regret...4 years in the coming


Advertisement
China's flag
Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang
August 16th 2012
Published: August 16th 2012
Edit Blog Post

EXCITED EXPECTATIONEXCITED EXPECTATIONEXCITED EXPECTATION

I'm climbing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain!
CHINA: Lijiang...Rectifying my Regret...4 years in the coming.

We all have regrets.

Why was I so impulsive? I could have handled that better. Wish I hadn't done that.

In relationships...finances... shopping...sporting moments...in travel...aspirations.

Wish I could go back in time...rectify...do differently.

But it's passed...irreversible...opportunity lost.

All we are left with is...REGRET...that insidious worm that sucks our confidence.

Somehow I had the opportunity "to rectify a regret"...something really major...something that had been eating me up for 4 years...and I received a GOLD MEDAL for doing so...yep...a Gold Medal...crazy!!!

We are in Lijiang in Yunnan Provence on my first trip to China...we had New Year in Dali...so this would be early 2003.

Staying just outside the old city walls...Dayan Town...home of the Naxi People...hanging naked ducks the view from my hotel room...outside cobbled streets...ancient timber dwellings clinging to the canal that is fed from that mountain just there...Jade Dragon Snow Mountain...A.K.A. Yulong Snow Mountain...one of China's most photographed sites.

Early start...into the 8 seater...on the highway it made me gulp with excitement when I saw it...we are climbing the mountain!

Six of us plus Dick the driver...only the 3 Aussie guys going
THE BOARDWALK FROM 4506mTHE BOARDWALK FROM 4506mTHE BOARDWALK FROM 4506m

Talk about laid on!!!
up...the 4 Chinese born staying down in the carpark due to fear of the altitude up there.

Catch a bus up the mountain...brown & green...vertical jagged rocks...to the cablecar terminal...and coloured flags...warnings of altitude anoxia.

Into an Austrian Leichner gondola to cablecar up the mountain...steep as...amazing view...past the snow line...up & up...into the Terminal above...reminded me of going skiiing...out onto snowy slopes.

There is a boardwalk from 4,506m to a lookout over glaciers at 4,600m...how lucky are we...boardwalk and wooden steps...and less than 100 vertical metres to climb...talk about laid on.

The air is thin up here...I've never been near this high...pass Chinese gasping for air...they sucking on oxygen...pass one of my mates...he can't go any higher...two of us left...slowly step by step...get to 4,591m...big sign showing the height...stop for photos of each other...noone else up here...only 9m higher to reach the lookout at 4,600m that I have dreamed about.

Then my mate looks at his watch and throws a clanger.

"David said he'd meet us at 12 in the carpark. We've got to go back or we'll be late."

"Only 9 metres to go...we're near the top."

"No. We've got to
4,591...9 METRES TO GO4,591...9 METRES TO GO4,591...9 METRES TO GO

First trip...couldn't believe I got no higher
go back."

I pointing "The lookout's just up there. Come on."

"No. If you go up further I'll tell David that you held us up and made us late."

And with that he turned and scampered down the steps...like a rabbit...in his runners...as he refuses to wear boots.

I stood next to the sign "4,591m"...couldn't believe it...wouldn't have believed it...but it's just happened...shit...is he trying to get me into trouble?

Is this payback for questioning why noone looked for me when I was left and lonesome in Kunming when all I had was 1 yuan? (see last blog).

I had questioned that last night in Lijiang and it hadn't gone down well...he'd made it clear it was OK to have left me...affected my sleep last night...I never asked the question again.

I turned to climb the 9 metres...figured due to the gradient may take 10 minutes or so...turn look down...he's running down...turn up...sick feeling...can I afford the agro?

Took a couple of steps up...feeling of dread...confusion...breathing laboured...I came to do this...I can achieve it...but is it worth it to jeopardise group dynamics?

With more oxygen I probably would have thought clearly
SO NEAR...SO FARSO NEAR...SO FARSO NEAR...SO FAR

The Birth of Regret
and carried on...but my head was buzzing...couldn't believe what was happening.

I chose expediency...chose to not risk it...followed him down...as fast as my booted feet would carry me...altitude not slowing me down.

Can't believe it...they haven't waited at the top of the cablecar...into a gondola with Chinese enthused at their achievements...me not as enthused as them.

Into the line for the bus down...just behind my mates...long queue...bus fills...short queue now ahead...bus pulls out...we have to wait for the next one.

We waited one hour...yep one hour for the next bus...and I couldn't help but say or mutter...

"Only 9 metres...we could have done it...we had more than enough time."


One mate sympathetic...the other silent.

Got to the carpark...David and the others emerging from a restaurant...no suggestion we were late...they impressing they had had a good time even though they hadn't gone up.



The Birth of Regret

I know I should have done it...but I wimped out...the birth of regret...I should have just done it!!!

It's not as if it was Mt Everest where climbers have to pull out with the peak in sight...due to bad weather, health issues, time required for descent...its not as if we were entering a Death Zone requiring oxygen!!!

So I had a great story for dinner parties...but it continued to bug me...I was so close...yet so far...no second chances...that photo at 4,591m with me displaying a V for victory...a constant reminder...I should have just done it.



Always Look on the Bright Side

Four of us in Shanghai after Yunnan walking up an Arcade on our way to the Old City...my difficult mate up front pushing the pace as if he was leading...always 10m ahead...often used to do this...impressing I should keep up & not take photos...he took only a handful of photos on the whole trip...my other mate & I taking heaps of pics.

Well my other mate's partner was no pushover...used to doing her own thing...she being Chinese thought she was the one leading us to the Old City...sees the mate ahead trying to push the pace...decides to duck right...into a shop dragging my other mate with her...didn't warn anyone...didn't buy anything.

And I just stopped...monitored where the other 3 were...kept the group together.

As a result of my experiences with the group to date...I adopted the role of "The Lynchpin" for the remainder of our China
I'M BACKI'M BACKI'M BACK

Second trip...I'm here to do that extra 9 metres!
trip.

If they aren't prepared to look out for each other...well...I will take that role!



From victim to facilitator...funny that...group dynamics.



Rectifying my Regret

Introduced Denise to China 3 years later...Beijing, Shanxi, Guangxi, Shandong, Beijing...my first David Hoo Tour (Your Travel Experts with Minimal Experience and Maximum Optimism)...sensational.

Saw my kids were growing older...got to get them to China before they leave home...something really good for them to remember.

So the following year took Denise & the Kids (then 21 & 18) to Beijing, Chongqing, Sichuan & Tibet...then flew the kids back to Oz as they had jobs to return to...Den & I to continue to Gansu, Yunnan, Shaanxi & Hebei.

And in the massive planning for such a venture...I included a return to Xian (to visit a terracotta warrior site not on the tourist trail)

...and a return to Lijiang...to "Rectify my Regret".

I'm going back to China...to climb the extra 9 metres!!!





Early 2007...5th day in Lijiang...staying in a Naxi Hotel in the old city...I'm climbing the mountain...just me...Den hanging around town...probably do some reading on the roof of Lamu's House of Tibet ...our favourite place to party in Dayan Town.

Very early start...want to be first there...beat the queues...nothing left to chance...driver waiting...took at least an
RECTIFYING MY REGRETRECTIFYING MY REGRETRECTIFYING MY REGRET

Returned to climb the extra 9m...did an extra 89m...couldn't be happier!
hour to get there...wait here...I'll be back.

Gotta say nothing looked familiar at base...place upgraded since I was last here...had to find my own ticket...buses lined up awaiting the onslaught...on a bus and up...onto a gondola...now its looking familiar...I can't believe I'm actually doing this...nice feeling!

Stepped onto pristine white snow at 4,506m...I'm back!

Climbing up...small sign for 4,571m...that wasn't here last time...can't find the sign for 4,591m that was my high point 4 years before...ah there it is...smaller sign...heart racing...9 metres to go.

Just keep climbing...4,600m...

What the hell...they've extended the boardwalk...new path to a lookout off the main boardwalk...4,636m...views over glaciers...already higher than last time.

Back then still going up...lookout is further up at that Chinese flag!

Platform...big smiles...big sign "4,680m".

More big smiles...all the Chinese up here want their photo with me.

I have come a long way to do this...to climb the extra 9 metres to 4,600m...and ended up an extra 89m...couldn't be happier.

But first things first...lead me to a table...asking my name...Certificate verifying 4,680m with my name on it...and you only get this if you climb to the top...engraving my name & the date...

And presenting me with a Gold Medal......crazy!


No idea whether that was the prize 4 years before.



Where's the Brass Band?

Now all I need is the National Anthem!!!



Relax & Enjoy,

Dancing Dave


Additional photos below
Photos: 66, Displayed: 28


Advertisement

NAXI WOMENNAXI WOMEN
NAXI WOMEN

Lijiang
LIJIANGLIJIANG
LIJIANG

Canal fed from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
HERE WE COMEHERE WE COME
HERE WE COME

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain


16th August 2012

Dancing Peacemaker
Great words and photos of an amazing adventure--relieving your heart of regret, pushing those lungs and legs, incredible snowy vistas and an exotic setting! I'm not at all surprised that you turned into a facilitator on that first journey--that's what you do with your encouragement and support on travelblog! Inspirational watching you dance with grace through the rough spots. Climb every mountain....
16th August 2012

THANKS TARA
Rectifying my regret...how lucky I had the opportunity to do so. Thank you for your kind words...I guess I bared my soul in this one.
16th August 2012

Just nine metres.....???
Sod group dynamics....I'd of been up there like a rat up a drainpipe, but knowing my luck I would have probably been struck down with AMS, 30cm from the top. The main thing is, you did it in the end :) Actually, I still have a few regrets about my time in Nepal.... then again, if I went back and did something about, I would probably only end up getting nicked ;)
16th August 2012

THANKS NICK...YEP...JUST 9 METRES
You go all that way...its nearly close enough to touch...so so glad I went back...makes up for so many instances whereby I cannot rectify my regret...could not have worked out better.
16th August 2012
EXCITED EXPECTATION

Seize the Moment
It is great to see this awesome picture of you. You take such incredible portraits and photos of other people, so it's nice to see you so in the moment in this picture.
16th August 2012
EXCITED EXPECTATION

THANKS BRENDAN
I don't like my photo being taken...never feel comfortable...but here...pretty excited. Thanks for reading.
19th August 2012

So close and yet so far....
Some goals are years in the making....and worth the effort. Isn't it something when it eats away at you until you complete the goal? Loved your photos and you look great! Those amazing mountains can call your spirit.
19th August 2012

THANKS DAVE & MERRY JO
Extra special comment from you guys...from Greenland or some other magic destination on the road
19th August 2012

Congratulations~ You deserve the gold medal, not only for rectifying your regret, but for going even further than you had initially planned! Inspired as always.
19th August 2012

THANKS MICHELLE
Glad you read this little insight into this humble blogger...or should I say...of the rewards of determination...you can imagine my smile when I achieved it.
6th September 2012
EXCITED EXPECTATION

By far my favourite picture. Rock on.
6th September 2012
EXCITED EXPECTATION

THANKS ANDREA
Rock on...definitely the way to go...check out the World Music Forum...plenty of Rockin' going on!
22nd January 2013

Regret can be good
Read this and found it amazing, if you hadn't regretted your family would have missed out on a great trip
22nd January 2013

THANKS PAULINE & STEVE
Regret can be good...don't know about that...but the thrill of rectifying it was amazing

Tot: 2.49s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 54; qc: 214; dbt: 0.1458s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 2.1mb